With the amount of snow on the ground, it seems odd to be talking about camping, but it really isn’t, especially due to the reservation changes the DNR made. This past fall, the DNR made a large change to how campers reserve spots at Michigan State Parks. All of the camping spots at the state parks in Michigan may be reserved up to six months in advance of a planned arrival date. State forest campgrounds are only on a first come, first serve basis.
As of November 1st, now canceling a date for a camping spot is going to cost up, sometimes up to 50% of your reservation fee. The move was done to prevent those hoarding campsites six months in advance and then dropping reservations as dates neared. This was a popular practice in Michigan, and it often time prevented access to several of the busier state parks across the state. Any time a reservation date is canceled, there is now a $10 fee. Additionally, there is a cancellation and modification fee schedule per campsite per night, as published here by the DNR:
|How long reservation held:||% charged of unused nights|
|up to 2 months||10%|
|2 to 3 months||15%|
|3 to 4 months||20%|
|4 to 5 months||30%|
|5 months or greater||40%|
As the time nears for the popular 6-month window to reserve a spot for summer, be sure to plan more specifically when you plan to go camping. Changing your plans may cost you!